US imposes sanctions on Hong Kong executive

7 August 2020, 15:43

The US has imposed sanctions on Carrie Lam
The US has imposed sanctions on Carrie Lam. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

The US has imposed sanctions on Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam and other officials.

The sanctions have been put in place for undermining the territory's autonomy.

Among those sanctioned are Hong Kong's police commissioner and several political secretaries.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said: "The United States stands with the people of Hong Kong."

It comes weeks after China imposed a controversial national security law on Hong Kong.

On Friday, the Trump administration moved to ban US transactions with the Chinese owners of the WeChat and TikTok apps.

The US Treasury directly accused Ms Lam of "implementing Beijing's policies of suppression of freedom and democratic processes."

"In 2019, Lam pushed for an update to Hong Kong's extradition arrangements to allow for extradition to the mainland, setting off a series of massive opposition demonstrations in Hong Kong," the US Treasury said in a statement.

Announcing the sanctions, Mike Pompeo said: "The Chinese Communist Party has made clear that Hong Kong will never again enjoy the high degree of autonomy that Beijing itself promised to the Hong Kong people and the United Kingdom for 50 years.

"President Trump has made clear that the United States will therefore treat Hong Kong as 'one country, one system' and take action against individuals who have crushed the Hong Kong people's freedoms."

Last month, Carrie Lam said on the possibility of sanctions: "I do not have any assets in the United States nor do I long for moving to the United States."

She told reporters she would "just laugh it off" if the US sanctioned her.

More to follow...